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The EEG sleep of night and rotating shift workers.

Walsh JK; Tepas DI; Moss PD
The twenty-four hour workday: proceedings of a symposium on variations in work-sleep schedules. Johnson LC, Texas DI, Colquhoun WP, Colligan MJ, eds. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-127, 1981 Jul; :451-465
The sleep of day (DWs), night (NWs), and rotating shift workers (RWs) was studied. The participants were recruited through labor unions and selected for laboratory study on the basis of their work schedule. Sleep times were usually identical to the individual's normal sleep schedule. The mean ages of the three groups were 37.1, 33.5, and 36.8 years. Four NWs were females as were two DWs and two RWs. No differences in 24 electroencephalogram sleep measures were observed between DWs and RWs. The NWs differed from both other groups in several dimensions. NWs had shorter total sleep time (TST). No statistically significant differences existed in TST between DWs and RWs and among the three groups in stage 1 and stage 2 latencies. NWs spent a greater percent of TST in slow wave sleep (SWS) and less in stage 1 and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep than than did DWs and RWs. The NWs had shorter mean REM latency and fewer REM periods during a sleep period. The average number of sleep stage transitions was lower for NWs. No differences in the mean hour by hour distribution of sleep stages between DWs and RWs were observed. The NWs had a significantly higher mean percentage of REM in the first hour of sleep. Two NWs displayed REM within 10 minutes of sleep onset and showed frequent alternations between REM and stage 2 sleep. The authors conclude that the results are in agreement with the proposal that sleep stage characteristics are, to a large degree, determined by TST.
NIOSH-Grant; Shift-work; Sleep-deprivation; Sleep-disorders; Men; Women; Health-hazards; Mental-stress; Physical-stress; Psychophysiology
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Johnson LC; Texas DI; Colquhoun WP; Colligan MJ
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 81-127; Grant-Number-R01-OH-00395; Grant-Number-R01-OH-00917
Source Name
The twenty-four hour workday: proceedings of a symposium on variations in work-sleep schedules
Performing Organization
Physiology Harvard University 665 Huntington Ave Boston, Mass 02115
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division